A woman goes on a sentimental journey during the 1950s and 1960s as she struggles with grief, love, and ultimately, self-discovery in the somber but hopeful novel, Dear Father, by Author Dee Miller.
The story begins on a sad note as Betty “Betz” Doyle, an employee of Becker Insurance holds the hand of her deceased mother, Anneliese Doyle, who has just passed away after a long battle with cancer. Grief gives way to determination as Betz begins a journey to find her long-lost father, after discovering a single yellow rose on her mother’s grave.
Annaliese’s death strikes the right emotional chords and also hits close to home as Betz struggles with the grief of losing her mother, something we all will experience at some point in our lives, making the character’s sadness relatable.
Despite a loving fiancé, Kenneth Johnson, her mother’s best friend, Pauline, and the support of her closest friend, Evelyn, Betz struggles with alienation and sadness. Eventually, she is distracted from trying to find her father and directs her attention to Kenneth when he is drafted into the Korean War. Unable to wait, she weds Kenneth days before he ships out for training. Her life further changes when she decides to become a nurse and discovers she’s pregnant.
Betz’s inner strength allows her to rise above each situation, not unlike her mother, who always faced challenges head-on. Dear Father isn’t only about Betz’s struggles, there is also warmth, love, and a general feeling of hope that energizes the story, ultimately rewarding Betz for all that she endures during the most trying times. While the story mostly focuses on Betz and her evolution from a grieving daughter to a resilient mother, you also see growth in supporting characters. Betz’s long and winding road to discover her father’s identity does take a backseat to the hustle and bustle of life, and it often takes a life-altering event to reignite Betz’s search.
The characterizations of the heroine and supporting characters are handled well, as is the structure of the story and the relationship dynamics between the characters. While it would enhance the reading as a sequel to Anneliese, Dear Father also works as a standalone novel.
Dear Father is a short but very worthwhile read that left me yearning for more after a big reveal concludes the story. An enjoyable read and a high recommend for me. ★★★★★– Elijah B. (Explore Authors Magazine)
Dear Father by Dee Miller is a soul-stirring historical romance novel that follows a woman's lifelong search for her father. Even at her mother's deathbed, Betty is unable to find out any helpful information about her father's identity from her mother. Her death only fuels Betty's desire to look for him but every trail she follows reaches a dead end. After her mother's funeral, her fiancé notifies her that he has been drafted. The novel covers Betty's turbulent life, highlighting her resilience despite all the setbacks she faces. When Kenneth reports for duty, she trains as a nurse and settles into the role of motherhood during his absence. Their lives later are not free from heartache but Betty faces everything with courage. She remains strong through the support of loving friends and family.
Dee Miller's remarkable writing helped me identify with the characters and share in their joy, laughter, and sadness. I was inspired by Betty who, despite first feeling inadequate and anxious, learns that she is braver that she initially thought. Interesting historical detail is brilliantly infused into the plot, making the story realistic. Through Betty and Kenneth's marriage and relationships, Miller paints a compelling picture of family and friendship. The novel contains important life lessons and also thoughtfully illuminates the value of community. Betty's relentless search for her father and her beautiful relationship with Kenneth gives the story direction. Dear Father is a powerful historical novel with splendid characters and useful lessons. Highly recommended to all readers.